RiNo LightRail Station Helps Developers Reach Creative Businesses

Dated: 06/07/2012

Views: 889

As the light-rail station planned near Denver's River North neighborhood gets closer to reality, developers are pushing to accommodate what’s become a melting pot for creative businesses.

Long-eyed by Denver planners for its potential, the RiNo neighborhood is garnering the attention of large and small businesses alike. The Lightrail station at 38th and Blake streets — the first stop on the East line to the airport from Denver's Union Station — is currently under construction. Another is planned at the National Western Stock Show site, on the Northwest line from downtown to Westminster. Both lines are set to open in 2016.

The Urban Land Conservancy for several years has been buying land around transit stations to develop workforce housing. The nonprofit organization recently started work near the Blake Street station for a project with 100 workforce rental apartments and first-floor commercial space.

Developers such as Brian Smith, Ellen Winkler and Kyle Zeppelin are building spaces for artists and other small creative companies, even as more established businesses such as Namaste Solar, Oz Architecture and Boa Technology have moved to the neighborhood.

Brian Smith, president of The Space Creators, has launched three projects where creative businesses lease space and share common areas. His latest — Laundry on Lawrence — hosts 28 studios and offices, a black-box theater, an art gallery, day-rental photo studio, and yoga and dance studio.

Kyle Zeppelin plans to start construction in July on The Source, an artisan food market modeled after Melrose Market in Seattle. Zeppelin has lined up two Boulder County companies to anchor the building's restaurant spaces. He's also working deals with a brewer, coffee producer, baker, florist, butcher and cheese-maker to occupy the former Bud's Warehouse space at 3350 Brighton Blvd.

Ellen Winkler of Wink, who developed creative workspace at Battery 621 at West Sixth Avenue and Kalamath Street, is planning a project called Industry, which will house technology and creative companies in a 30,000-square-foot building at 29th Street and Brighton Boulevard.

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Ken Blevins

Ken Blevins, Chief Executive Officer of Metrowest Real Estate Services, is a veteran in mortgage and default servicing with more than 23 years of experience in collections, foreclosure/bankruptcy, los....

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